From Homer to the Hippocratic Oath, How Ancient Greece Has Shaped Our World
Author: Charlotte Higgins
Publisher: Harper Collins
Why is ancient Greece important? Because, quite simply, if we want to understand the modern Western world, we need to look back to the Greeks. Consider the way we think about ethics, about the nature of beauty and truth, about our place in the universe, about our mortality. All this we have learned from the ancient Greeks. They molded the basic disciplines and genres in which we still organize thought, from poetry to drama, from medicine to philosophy, from history to ethnography. Packed with useful facts, including a timeline, a "mythology for dummies," a who's who, a guide to Homer's epics, and a handy map for those struggling to know their Lemnos from their Lesbos, It's All Greek to Me is an entertaining and insightful tour through the world of the ancient Greeks. Why are some laws Draconian? What is an Achilles' heel? Why were the Spartans spartan? Charlotte Higgins provides these answers and more, arming average readers with the knowledge they need to understand the Greeks and their tremendous contributions to our lives. This book aims to unlock the richness of a fascinating culture and place it where it should be—in the mainstream of life.
Author: Charlotte Higgins
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, the captivating and haunting exploration of the remnants of an empire What does Roman Britain mean to us now? How were its physical remains rediscovered and made sense of? How has it been reimagined, in story and song and verse? Sometimes on foot, sometimes in a magnificent, if not entirely reliable, VW camper van, Charlotte Higgins sets out to explore the ancient monuments of Roman Britain. She explores the land that was once Rome’s northernmost territory and how it has changed since the years after the empire fell. Under Another Sky invites us to see the British landscape, and British history, in an entirely fresh way: as indelibly marked by how the Romans first imagined and wrote, these strange and exotic islands, perched on the edge of the known world, into existence.
Put a Little Ovid in Your Life
Author: Charlotte Higgins
Publisher: Harper Collins
Category: Family & Relationships
It wasn't just heated floors, hot baths, aqueducts, and paved roads that the Romans did first and best—they were also experts at the art of love. From the most effective pickup lines to percipient advice on getting over a breakup, from grooming tips to sex tips, the Romans had time-proof solutions. Charlotte Higgins brings them together in this indispensable guide to love—a collection of the richest, most illuminating, and sensuous writing about this mysterious emotion that can move us to joy or despair. Filled with the sage advice of Catullus, Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Propertius, and Tibullus, this witty, smart, and laugh-out-loud-funny handbook offers a fresh, new take on romance based on some of civilization's oldest adages.
Author: Károly Simonyi
Publisher: CRC Press
While the physical sciences are a continuously evolving source of technology and of understanding about our world, they have become so specialized and rely on so much prerequisite knowledge that for many people today the divide between the sciences and the humanities seems even greater than it was when C. P. Snow delivered his famous 1959 lecture, "The Two Cultures." In A Cultural History of Physics, Hungarian scientist and educator Károly Simonyi succeeds in bridging this chasm by describing the experimental methods and theoretical interpretations that created scientific knowledge, from ancient times to the present day, within the cultural environment in which it was formed. Unlike any other work of its kind, Simonyi’s seminal opus explores the interplay of science and the humanities to convey the wonder and excitement of scientific development throughout the ages. These pages contain an abundance of excerpts from original resources, a wide array of clear and straightforward explanations, and an astonishing wealth of insight, revealing the historical progress of science and inviting readers into a dialogue with the great scientific minds that shaped our current understanding of physics. Beautifully illustrated, accurate in its scientific content and broad in its historical and cultural perspective, this book will be a valuable reference for scholars and an inspiration to aspiring scientists and humanists who believe that science is an integral part of our culture.
On Mazes and Labyrinths
Author: Charlotte Higgins
Publisher: Random House
Category: Literary Criticism
**BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK** The tale of how the hero Theseus killed the Minotaur, finding his way out of the labyrinth using Ariadne’s ball of red thread, is one of the most intriguing, suggestive and persistent of all myths, and the labyrinth – the beautiful, confounding and terrifying building created for the half-man, half-bull monster – is one of the foundational symbols of human ingenuity and artistry. Charlotte Higgins, author of the Baillie Gifford-shortlisted Under Another Sky, tracks the origins of the story of the labyrinth in the poems of Homer, Catullus, Virgil and Ovid, and with them builds an ingenious edifice of her own. She follows the idea of the labyrinth through the Cretan excavations of Sir Arthur Evans, the mysterious turf labyrinths of Northern Europe, the church labyrinths of medieval French cathedrals and the hedge mazes of Renaissance gardens. Along the way, she traces the labyrinthine ideas of writers from Dante and Borges to George Eliot and Conan Doyle, and of artists from Titian and Velázquez to Picasso and Eva Hesse. Her intricately constructed narrative asks what it is to be lost, what it is to find one’s way, and what it is to travel the confusing and circuitous path of a lived life. Red Thread is, above all, a winding and unpredictable route through the byways of the author’s imagination – one that leads the reader on a strange and intriguing journey, full of unexpected connections and surprising pleasures.
Four Civilizations, One 17th-century Breakthrough
Author: H. F. Cohen
Publisher: Amsterdam University Press
Once upon a time 'The Scientific Revolution of the 17th century' was an innovative concept that inspired a stimulating narrative of how modern science came into the world. Half a century later, what we now know as 'the master narrative' serves rather as a strait-jacket - so often events and contexts just fail to fit in. No attempt has been made so far to replace the master narrative. H. Floris Cohen now comes up with precisely such a replacement. Key to his path-breaking analysis-cum-narrative is a vision of the Scientific Revolution as made up of six distinct yet narrowly interconnected, revolutionary transformations, each of some twenty-five to thirty years' duration. This vision enables him to explain how modern science could come about in Europe rather than in Greece, China, or the Islamic world. It also enables him to explain how half-way into the 17th century a vast crisis of legitimacy could arise and, in the end, be overcome.
A History of Mathematical Astronomy
Author: C. M. Linton
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Since man first looked towards the heavens, a great deal of effort has been put into trying to predict and explain the motions of the sun, moon and planets. Developments in man's understanding have been closely linked to progress in the mathematical sciences. Whole new areas of mathematics, such as trigonometry, were developed to aid astronomical calculations, and on numerous occasions throughout history, breakthroughs in astronomy have only been possible because of progress in mathematics. This book describes the theories of planetary motion that have been developed through the ages, beginning with the homocentric spheres of Eudoxus and ending with Einstein's general theory of relativity. It emphasizes the interaction between progress in astronomy and in mathematics, showing how the two have been inextricably linked since Babylonian times. This valuable text is accessible to a wide audience, from amateur astronomers to professional historians of astronomy.
Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking
Author: Douglas Hofstadter,Emmanuel Sander
Publisher: Basic Books
Shows how analogy-making pervades human thought at all levels, influencing the choice of words and phrases in speech, providing guidance in unfamiliar situations, and giving rise to great acts of imagination.
Frank N. McMillan Jr., a Life in Quest of the Lion
Author: Frank N. McMillan
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Available electronically in an open-access, full-text edition from the Texas A&M University Libraries' Digital Repository at http : / /hdl .handle .net /1969 .1 /146844. Frank N. McMillan Jr., a country boy steeped in the traditional culture of rural Texas, was summoned to a life-long quest for meaning by a dream lion he met in the night. On his journey, he followed the lead of the founder of analytical psychology, Carl Jung, and eventually established the world’s first professorship to advance the study of that field. McMillan, born and raised on a ranch near Calvert, was an Aggie through and through, with degrees in geology and petroleum engineering. As an adult working near Bay City, Texas, he was lunching in a country café when by chance he met abstract expressionist painter Forrest Bess, who was ecstatically waving a letter he had received from Jung himself. The artist’s enthusiastic description of Jung as a master psychologist, soul doctor, and healer led McMillan to the Jung Center in Houston, where he began reading Jung’s Collected Works. McMillan frequently said, “Jung saved my life.” Finding Jung: Frank N. McMillan Jr., a Life in Quest of the Lion captures McMillan’s journey through the words of his own journals and through reflections by his son, Frank III. David Rosen, the holder of the first endowed McMillan professorship at Texas A&M University, adds insights to the book, and the late Sir Laurens van der Post, whom the elder McMillan met at the Houston Jung Center in 1979, authored a foreword to the book before his death. This is a story that sheds light on the inner workings of the self as well as the Jungian understanding of the Self. In often lyrical language, it gives the human background to a major undertaking in the dissemination of Jungian scholarship and provides a personal account of a life lived in near-mythic dimensions.
Author: Graham Flegg
Publisher: Macmillan International Higher Education
Originally part of the Open University course AM289 History of Mathematics, this book deals with the evolution of the concept of "number", with the representation of numbers by words and symbols and with the basic methods of calculation which have developed from ancient times to the present day.
Author: Jean Kinney Williams
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
Empire of Ancient Greece chronicles the remarkable legacy of the Greeks, as well as the diversity of their societies - from the thriving democracy of Athens to the militarism of Sparta to the oligarchy of Thrace. It explores the conditions that made it possible for the ancient Greeks to develop a culture that set the foundation for our intellectual lives today, and explains why Greek power eventually declined. Connections in our own world to the ancient Greeks are numerous, including the Olympics, much of our classical literature, the scientific method, architecture, and many English words.
How an Ancient Brotherhood Cracked the Code of the Universe and Lit the Path from Antiquity to Oute
Author: Kitty Ferguson
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
The enthralling story of Pythagoras and the Pythagoreans, whose insights transformed the ancient world and still inspire the realms of science, mathematics, philosophy, and the arts. "Pythagoras's influence on the ideas, and therefore on the destiny, of the human race was probably greater than that of any single man before or after him," wrote Arthur Koestler. Though most people know of him only for the famous Pythagorean Theorem (a2 +b2=c2), in fact the pillars of our scientific tradition-belief that the universe is rational, that there is unity to all things, and that numbers and mathematics are a powerful guide to truth about nature and the cosmos-hark back to the convictions of this legendary sixth-century B.C. scholar. Born around 570 B.C. on the cultured Aegean island of Samos, Pythagoras (according to ancient tales) studied with the sage Thales nearby at Miletus, and with priests and scribes in Egypt and Babylon. Eventually he founded his own school at Croton in southern Italy, where he and his followers began to unravel the surprising deep truths concealed behind such ordinary tasks as tuning a lyre. While considering why some string lengths produced beautiful sounds and others discordant ones, they uncovered the ratios of musical harmony, and recognized that hidden behind the confusion and complexity of nature are patterns and orderly relationships. They had surprised the Creator at his drafting board and had glimpsed the mind of God! Some of them later would also find something darker in numbers and nature: irrationality, a revelation so unsettling and subversive that it may have contributed to the destruction of their brotherhood.
Author: David Sacks,Oswyn Murray,Lisa R. Brody
Publisher: Infobase Publishing
Discusses the people, places and events found in over 2,000 years of Greek civilization.
Selected Writings on Philosophy, Mathematics, and Physics
Author: Hermann Weyl
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Hermann Weyl (1885-1955) was one of the twentieth century's most important mathematicians, as well as a seminal figure in the development of quantum physics and general relativity. He was also an eloquent writer with a lifelong interest in the philosophical implications of the startling new scientific developments with which he was so involved. Mind and Nature is a collection of Weyl's most important general writings on philosophy, mathematics, and physics, including pieces that have never before been published in any language or translated into English, or that have long been out of print. Complete with Peter Pesic's introduction, notes, and bibliography, these writings reveal an unjustly neglected dimension of a complex and fascinating thinker. In addition, the book includes more than twenty photographs of Weyl and his family and colleagues, many of which are previously unpublished. Included here are Weyl's exposition of his important synthesis of electromagnetism and gravitation, which Einstein at first hailed as "a first-class stroke of genius"; two little-known letters by Weyl and Einstein from 1922 that give their contrasting views on the philosophical implications of modern physics; and an essay on time that contains Weyl's argument that the past is never completed and the present is not a point. Also included are two book-length series of lectures, The Open World (1932) and Mind and Nature (1934), each a masterly exposition of Weyl's views on a range of topics from modern physics and mathematics. Finally, four retrospective essays from Weyl's last decade give his final thoughts on the interrelations among mathematics, philosophy, and physics, intertwined with reflections on the course of his rich life.
Author: Eliphas Levi
Publisher: Weiser Books
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
This is Eliphas Levi's (1810-1875) best-known book. This work arguably made Levi THE most influential writer on magic since the Renaissance. Originally issued in French, the English translator is A.E. Waite and it is doubtful that anyone else could have better captured the essence of Levi's work. The book is divided in two parts; the first is theoretical, the second practical. This is a fascinating and often debated work involving a discussion that covers almost the entire realm of Ritual and High Magic.